Love, Self

Why Are We Still Letting The Church Tell Us Who We Can Love?

Photo: Beatriz Vera / Shutterstock
Why Are We Still Obeying Religious Ideas That Were Written Ages Ago?

Once again, the Catholic Church has let its people down.

The Pope has, once again, dashed the hopes of LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones around the globe, saying it won't bless same-sex marriages.

That is, of course, if you consider those who fall within the LGBTQ+ spectrum to be fully equal people. The painful truth is, you may not. 

After all, it's easier to discriminate against somebody if you dehumanize them first. 

You may be one of those religionists who knows and latches on to only that which is put before you, no matter how hateful the message is.

You may simply not care; believing the Bible tells you to hate, banish, reject and vilify, and so you do what you're told. Makes things easier, right? No need to dust off the ol' brain. 

Oh yeah, God is love. Right. If God is love, then what is love?

From a religious standpoint, what do those homosexuals do for you anyway, outside of make you fantasize about what all that gay sex must look like?

Have you ever realized that you seem like a creep, being all obsessed with someone else's sex life?

Oh no, never. Not you. You're a perfect heterosexual person, and marrying the person you love is a right that belongs to you and your kind, alone. You'd never be an ally because it's not about you.

Anything that deviates from what makes you seem perfect is ... what's that ridiculous word again, the one the Church never stops saying? ... oh yeah, an 'abomination' — seems like a real up-to-date term.

Does anyone say that without cracking up the entire room? That's as good and as relevant as, "Beware the locusts!" Or "A pox on your cattle!" Gimme a damned break.

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Can we shift the consciousness up to the year 2021, please, or must we base all our decisions on what was going on in Jerusalem, 2,000+ years ago?

Why would anybody, LGBTQ+ or not, wait around for a blessing on their marriage from someone whose ideology is dead-set on hating them? Why are we still obeying the books of hate and intolerance? Why?

Aw, poor Church. Always having to take the brunt of those LGBTQ+ issues. So much easier to just stick to child sexual assault within the priesthood, right? Oops, I went there.

But don't worry, even with your cool Pope guy delivering the bad news to those LGBTQ+ people who want so badly to believe in your religion, you're not alone. Western religions all seem to be equal opportunity haters.

You'll find that the other 'bibles' are just as filled with intolerance for anything other than the standard 'acceptable' sexuality, aka heterosexuality.

The question is this:

Why are we still letting religion tell us how we should live our lives?

Are we still bowing down to the officials who have somehow been made into important figures — people who dictate what we should be doing, feeling and acting like, no matter how unnatural it feels — are we still listening to them? Are we still giving religion the power to make our lives miserable, just because we're told that 'their' way is best and whatever it is we're feeling is trash (this century's word for abomination)?

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Why are so many people still slaves to religion, even when it wishes to wipe them off the face of the earth?

You might believe in God, or not — but if you're not feeling the spirit of love, nature and life inside your heart, and you need someone else to tell you what to feel, how to act, how to believe, what to believe in, then you're nothing more than a mindless follower, a person who gives up their own power so that someone else can decide what to do with it.

Got a problem? Western religion to the rescue! Just believe what you're told and you'll be able to sign on for a lifetime of struggle, self-hate and ostracizing.

In other words, mindless belief in organized religion is simply laziness. But that's your ticket to heaven, right? You're a good person only if you do it their way. 

I still feel that the obsession with what people are doing in bed and with whom is deeply voyeuristic and perverted. Yet, all this ends up looking like is another way for human beings to think about sex all the time, while pretending to be noble, holy and — as always — right. 

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Love your God. Do your thing, spiritually. I'm not trying to stand in your way. 

Be happy, but get over this idea that only your way is right, and only you have the right to be happy. Get over the idea that your religion is the only way to go — obviously, it's not.

It's time to wake up, believers. What is it that you believe in anyway? Is it God, or is it that you're better than others?

Is it about spirit, or is it about you playing on the popular team? Is it about the heart and soul, or is it about needing to step on others to raise yourself up?

If you're not experiencing joy and love from your religion, then why do you practice?

If you believe that your God is the principle of Love, then why do you practice hate, division and intolerance? What on this earth makes you think you have a right to judge another person's sexuality?

Don't give me, "Because the Bible tells me so." The Bible doesn't tell you so.

The Bible is an inanimate object, a book — it's not telling you how to live. It's a bunch of stories that you can refer to, if you wish, and if you're smart enough, you can find wisdom in ... but if it's teaching you how to hate and segregate, then it's not worth reading, listening to, believing in or considering when real human beings are being hurt, discriminated against and shunned when it comes to real human issues, like being LGBTQ+, marriage and being religious.

God bless the LGBTQ+ community for surviving all the hateful, religious bigots and for not minding what they do with their lives.

Live and let live, for chrissakes.

If you are facing oppression in your community or dealing with suicidal thoughts, please know that you can reach out to The Trevor Lifeline for crisis and suicide intervention 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

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Dori Hartley is primarily a portrait artist. As an essayist and a journalist, she can be read in The Huffington Post, ParentDish, YourTango, The Daily Beast, Psychology Today, More Magazine, XOJane, MyDaily and The Stir. Her art books ‘Beauty’, ‘Antler Velvet’, and 'Mads Mikkelsen: Portraits of the Actor' are all available on Amazon.